How do we change a global landscape? By changing our children. And how do we change our children? By transforming the way they see the world. But the world won’t achieve long-term, lasting change if we only transform one small section of the planet. This is a “Go Big or Go Home” type of global revolution, because changing just one neighborhood, city, state, or even country will no longer work due to constant infiltration from the outside world. Life as we know it has changed. Quiet suburbia is an era gone by. But this is a good thing from a revolutionary perspective, and the timing is perfect. We have an emerging generation of young pioneers ready to make their mark on the planet, and they are supported by a trifecta of resources never before seen in human history: wealth, desire, and access. Our Millennial World is so closely linked via technology, social media, and a craving to connect that we finally actually have the potential power to affect Thailand from Tucson and Bombay from Boston. So, where is the breakdown? One word: education. It’s a mind-bender that we are still trying to “service” this generation of new-world thinkers with an educational system that is over 200-years old and never actually worked to begin with.
The first question is whether we will properly harness this potential power and tap into the global climate that is literally ripe for the harvest. The second question hits a bit closer to home: How does this affect the Jewish world? Can a responsible, intelligent Jew in today’s world really expect to protect and provide for his own children by operating in a vacuum and ignoring the global picture of our modern-day world? We have been tasked with a very important job since the dawn of time: we are here as a Light to the Nations. By Divine Ordinance, we are the Planet’s most resilient and long-lasting People, there is no question. But with great privilege, comes great responsibility. What are we doing to make our mark on the modern-day world? Where is the educational system that builds great Jewish leaders from cradle to grave in this new Millennia? How did we arrive at a place on the global calendar where G-d’s chosen people are accustomed to following the world instead of leading it? We cannot simply sit and be consumers of a broken system that was never designed for us to begin with.
We have ancestors who were royals and those who were slaves; our lineage is rich with lessons of every imaginable extreme. While it is not within our control to choose our heritage, it is our clear responsibly to dictate our destiny. Are we going to leave a legacy of abundance or scarcity? Creation or consumption? This fate of the future is in our hands, and we as a People have been bred to rise above nature to influence our surroundings. So, how is it, that in today’s world, where resources are so readily available, and Jews are experiencing abundance like we haven’t seen in 3000 years, we as a Nation are still starving from scarcity mentality? We are suffering from a literal epidemic where thousands upon thousands of Jewish parents feel forced to send their kids to non-Jewish schools in order to get an excellent education. This is a poison that our People have never seen, and our immune systems can’t fight. We are interwoven with all of humanity in a way that can’t be undone. Jews can no longer disconnect from the rest of the world, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe tells us that disconnecting is no longer the ultimate solution or ideal prescription for our healing. It’s time to heal all of humanity, all nations, together collectively, and this is no longer a cliché pipe dream. This is the mission of our generation. Like Mordechai told Esther, we were created for such a time as this. Is it a small task? No, it’s a mission of epic proportions. We are on a mission to create a reality where Jewish education is the benchmark for the rest of the world. Why? Because G-d’s chosen people should have the best in order to become their best. Not so that we can retreat to a cave and separate ourselves from the rest of the world, but so we can serve the world in the way that G-d intended. We were born to lead. Born to serve. And this redemptive worldview requires a whole new programming. Raising a new generation of Jewish leaders…this is the calling of Menachem Mendel Academy.